According to Ruth Gledhill of Christian Today, York Minister in the north of England has quietly introduced Zen Buddhist meditation. Blending various religious beliefs is syncretism which is dangerous as it results in a fundamental change of beliefs. Gledhill writes:
A leading adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned that Buddhist meditation introduced by a key cathedral in the north of England breaches the bounds of Christian orthodoxy.
Dr Ian Paul, a highly-regarded conservative evangelical member of the Archbishops’ Council, and also a regular commentator for Christian Today, writes on his Psephizo blog, says the setting up of a “sangha” or community for Buddhist meditation at York Minster illustrates the “nonsense” of the so-called “broad church”.
The revelation of Buddhism being practised at York Minister was doubly embarrassing because it came on Pentecost, which this year was chosen by the Church of England as the culmination of a week of prayer for the evangelisation of the nation.
Christian News Network reports:
Barack Obama has appointed a man who identifies as a woman to serve on his Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships.
The man, who goes by the name Barbara Satin, is a veteran of the United States Air Force and formerly served on the United Church of Christ’s executive council. He was behind the denomination’s decision to affirm transgendered persons in the ministry.
Satin was raised by his mother after his father died just over a year after Satin was born. He went on to marry a woman and the two had three children together.
7 But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; 8 for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. (1 Timothy 4:7-8 NASB)
In the passage above (1 Timothy 4:7-8) the Apostle Paul used the Greek word ευσεβεια in v8, which is translated here as “godliness.” What is godliness? The word ευσεβεια in this context describes the condition of devotion and piety toward God. Godliness is a good translation, though it could also have been rendered as “holiness.” Godliness is a word which encapsulates the whole of true religion and it is called “godliness” because piety toward God is the foundation and the principal part of it. In the Greek, when this word is used to describe a devout worshipper of God, it also carries with it the general sense of a pious life or a life which is morally good. My brethren, this is the description of those who are truly alive in Christ because this is also the description of Christlikeness when it is applied to genuine believers belonging to the Lord Jesus.
Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, makes no bones about the fact that conservatives have lost the culture wars. And of course the Left is gloating over our loss. So, not surprisingly, they’re saying to the losing side, which includes conservative evangelicals, “You lost, deal with it.” And we did lose, big time. Now liberals are preparing to rub our noses in the battle field mud.
How should Bible believers deal with this startling defeat? According to Eph 6:10, followers of Jesus Christ must “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (See what that looks like here.)
Armor-up, brethren, because the winner’s are going to take a hard line: “No accommodation whatsoever,” urged one Harvard Law School professor. “Don’t even try to be nice to moral enemies…since their arguments have no normative authority of any kind.”
Liberals have no intention of showing any sort of kindness toward conservatives — and Bible believers are the Left’s real “moral enemies.” As Dr. Mohler points out in his piece, these people will go all out to squash religious freedom.
The liberal Washington Post has the story:
Months before Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said the Pentagon would take steps toward allowing transgender people to serve openly in the military, Army Staff Sgt. Patricia King last year became what she believes is the first openly transgender member of the infantry. While official Pentagon policy still forbids openly transgender personnel, her commanders have been supportive, she said. King even purchased a female dress Army service uniform, anticipating that she would be able to wear it soon.
“I made a decision that owning that uniform was important to me, and I believe that our leadership is going to do the right thing,” she said.
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows:when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. 20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “ Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:18-21 NASB)
In the passage above, the word “sins” translates the noun ἁμαρτιῶν, which is the Genitive, Plural of ἁμαρτία or hamartia, from the verb ἁμαρτάνω or hamartanō, which means, “to miss the mark.” The word group from which these two words belong gives the sense of missing the mark, losing, or falling short of a goal (particularly a spiritual one), as in Romans 3:23, “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” The noun form, ἁμαρτία, typically refers to the transgression of the law, for example, 1 John 3:4, “Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.” Therefore, ἁμαρτία is used to denote our sin against God. Apart from the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, ἁμαρτία results in death, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord ” (Romans 6:23).
Bob Bluey of The Daily Signal interviews economist Walter Williams who makes the case that America is heading toward totalitarianism.
The famed George Mason University professor says the government is gradually gaining more control over the lives of the American people. What can be done about it? Williams explains why it’s hard to change course, especially in regard to young people who embrace socialist ideas.
According to Christian News Network:
A staff member at New York’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church, led by popular megachurch pastor and author Tim Keller, and who handles sermon orders for Keller, identifies as a progressive who doesn’t believe homosexuality is sinful and is part of a so-called church plant whose leader recently made recommendations to do away with male/female-separated restrooms nationwide.
In addition to his leadership of Redeemer Presbyterian, which sees up to 5,000 in attendance each week, Keller is known for his best-selling books “The Reason for God” and “The Prodigal God” as well as “The Meaning of Marriage” and “Counterfeit Gods.”
Business Insider reports:
Target is facing a nationwide backlash for its support of transgender rights.
More than 1.2 million people have signed a pledge to boycott the retailer after it announced last month that it would welcome transgender customers to use any bathroom or fitting room that matches their gender identity.
Critics have been holding protests and demonstrations at stores across the country, and they are showing no signs of dying down.
Many are demanding access to bathrooms of the opposite sex to support claims that “perverts” can now prey on children and women as a result of the policy.
The boycotters’ goal is to force Target to reverse its policy, or at least make the retailer suffer for it by spending their money elsewhere.
1 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And you know the way where I am going.” 5 Thomas *said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” 6 Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
7 If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” (John 14:1-7 NASB)
What is noticeably missing in all cults is the correct emphasis on the necessity of the Cross of Christ and, therefore, a total misapplication of Him as our Exclusive Saviour. Carefully read the passage I placed at the top of this post from John 14. John 16:6 says, “Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” In response to Thomas’ question in v4, Jesus declared that He is the way to God because He is the truth of God (John 1:14) and the life of God (John 1:4; John 3:15; John 11:25). What we see in v6 is the exclusiveness of Jesus as the only approach to the Father is emphatic. Only one way, not many ways, lead to God and that one way is Jesus Christ (John 10:7-9; cf. Matthew 7:13, 14; Luke 13:24; Acts 4:12).
1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. (2 Timothy 4:1-4 NASB)
About 7 years ago or so we were dealing with the Emergent or Emerging “Church” replacing Christian liberalism or at least morphing into the same role. That means that it assumed a Gospel stance of universalism. At the same time, we were hearing of a certain group of Christian leaders who called themselves “New Calvinists.” For many years, it was assumed that if one was reformed in his theology, like me, that it was a sure deal that that Christian was not going to fall into the cesspool of liberalism. However, the New Calvinists appear to lean towards mysticism and heavily toward compromise. I am one who simply cannot wrap my mind around how one who confesses to believe that God is Sovereign over all things and that man is incapable of saving Himself can seek to make the compromises in their ministry that would line themselves up with the Emergents. Universalism and Calvinism are polar opposites in my understanding of things and that means that Calvinists should have a proper understanding of what it means that Jesus Christ is Lord. It means that we do not call the shots. We do not design new and more popular ways to serve and worship Him. No, we must worship and serve as directed by Him.
Michelle Boorstein of the liberal Washington Post reports:
The global United Methodist Church begins its once-every-four-years legislative meeting Tuesday, and the focus has been on whether to change or keep the denomination’s rejection of homosexuality. But a broader question is up for a vote: What do the 13 million Methodists from Africa to Asia to America have in common?
In a globalized, polarized time, it’s a question that could be asked of many faith groups, from Catholics and Jews to Muslims and Mormons. For the next 10 days, it will be put to the United Methodists, with hundreds of delegates from around the world hashing out more than 1,000 proposals on topics from abortion and whether to digitize hymnals to potentially divesting from businesses connected with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In her 5th installment of “Brain stoppers,” Holly Pivec of Spirit of Error addresses Arch Heretic Bill Johnson’s endeavor to stop critical thinking. Pivec writes:
“Brain stoppers” is a term I came up with to refer to a variety of tactics used by leaders in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) to discourage their followers from thinking critically about NAR teachings. I’ve written a series of posts about different brain stoppers, starting with “Brain Stopper No. 1: Name Calling.”
Another brain stopper, I call the “Book Ban,” is employed by Bill Johnson–senior pastor and NAR apostle over Bethel Church in Redding, California. Johnson tells his readers not to read books that are critical of teachings he promotes. He does this in his popular book When Heaven Invades Earth: A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles. Here are his words.
The Daily Signal reports:
A state agency wants to remove a small-town judge in Wyoming from two posts because she told a reporter that her religious beliefs would prevent her from solemnizing same-sex marriages.
In her full-time responsibilities, Municipal Judge Ruth Neely isn’t authorized to preside over marriages. In part-time duties on the local Circuit Court, though, she could be asked to do so.
Now supporters across Wyoming and the nation are siding with Neely as she asks the Wyoming Supreme Court to prevent the state Commission on Judicial Conduct and Ethics from ending her 21-year career as a municipal judge in Pinedale, a town with a population of 2,030 just south of Yellowstone National Park.
According to Christian News Network:
The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education released on Friday guidelines for schools nationwide that outline that the Obama administration requires schools to allow students to use the restroom and locker room corresponding with their “gender identity” under threat of losing their federal funding.
“There is no room in our schools for discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against transgender students on the basis of their sex,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch in a statement announcing the release of the guidelines. “This guidance gives administrators, teachers, and parents the tools they need to protect transgender students from peer harassment and to identify and address unjust school policies.”
Greg Richter of NewsMax has the story:
Donald Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns before November’s general election is a “ticking time bomb” that threatens to destroy not only Trump’s chances of being elected president, but could bring down other Republicans on the ticket, John Fund writes at National Review.
For months, Trump has said he would be willing to release his returns“at the appropriate time” but that he could not do so until an IRS audit was completed.
Tax experts, and the IRS itself, have said that being under audit does not prevent a person from releasing personal tax returns.
1 Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him,
“I am God Almighty;
Walk before Me, and be blameless.
2 “I will establish My covenant between Me and you,
And I will multiply you exceedingly.” (Genesis 17:1-2 NASB)
In these last days it is imperative that God’s people have a more complete knowledge of God. So, in light of this, let us look at one of the names of God that speaks much about His power and provision. God keeps His part of the covenants He makes and it is this name, El-Shaddai, that God used for Himself that gives us much comfort as we come to understand that He helps and blesses His people. El-Shaddai ( אל שׁדּי ) – We must never forget that in Hebrew we read from right to left and this name of God is two separate words, Ēl ( אל), meaning, “might,” and Shaddai (שׁדּי ) , meaning , “the Almighty, the Powerful One, or the Mighty One.” As a combined name of God, El Shaddai, which occurs seven times in Sacred Scripture, was the covenant name for God to the Patriarchs until the time of Moses. The Jewish rabbis believed that the term meant the “One who is self-sufficient.” God’s covenant was moral and ethical in character, not ritualistic or orgiastic.
According to Melissa Korn of the Wall Street Journal, students at GIT believed that “Jill Watson” was a human teaching assistant and interacted with her throughout the entire semester. Korn writes:
One day in January, Eric Wilson dashed off a message to the teaching assistants for an online course at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
“I really feel like I missed the mark in giving the correct amount of feedback,” he wrote, pleading to revise an assignment.
Thirteen minutes later, the TA responded. “Unfortunately, there is not a way to edit submitted feedback,” wrote Jill Watson, one of nine assistants for the 300-plus students.
Last week, Mr. Wilson found out he had been seeking guidance from a computer.
Far-left blog, Huffington Post, reports:
Two applications used by hundreds of colleges and universities will soon allow students more options for identifying their gender.
The Common Application, used by more than 600 schools, and the Universal College Application, used by more than 40, said this week that the next version of their applications will allow transgender and gender non-conforming applicants better choices to self-identify.
Starting in the 2016-2017 academic year, the Common Application will offer an optional free response text field to give students a place to further describe their gender identity, and will update the “sex” field to read “sex assigned at birth,” its leadership said.
In a piece over at Answers in Genesis entitled “Secularists Want to Hurt Kentucky,” Ken Ham addresses irrational secularist’s all-out effort to prevent folks from enjoying the Ark Encounter, completely ignoring AIG’s First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion. Ham points out that secularists “simply don’t want Christians to have the full freedom to present their beliefs in the culture. He writes:
Secularists in our area called Tri-State Freethinkers (whose president, Jim Helton, is an avowed atheist and serves as regional director of the American Atheists) are bemoaning their failing billboard campaign to oppose the Ark Encounter.
After the proposed billboard campaign hit the press, the company that the secularists were going to use for the billboards apparently backed out. They then decided to use a mobile billboard company, which has also backed out. This is what this secularist group claims in its press release:
After initially agreeing to drive the billboard around the park on multiple weekends during the summer, he [the driver] recently backed out due to fear of his own personal safety.
9 But you are A chosen race, A royal priesthood, A holy nation, A people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were not A people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10 NASB)
The Church is not a building. No, in the New Testament, written in Koine Greek, the English word translated as “church” is the word ἐκκλησίᾳ or ekklesia. This word literally means, “the called out ones.” It’s usage in scripture denotes the New Testament community of the redeemed in a two-fold aspect, the first referring to all those called by and to Christ in the fellowship of His salvation, which is the “Church” worldwide at all times. The second aspect, rarely used, refers to a local body of believers.